iPhone 12 Still on Track for September Announcement, No EarPods in Retail Box

Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives believes that Apple is still on track to launch the iPhone 12 in September. The Cupertino company has seemingly overcome the manufacturing delays, though after the September announcement, the new iPhones will go on sale in early October which is still a slight delay from their usual late September launch timeframe.

The analyst believes that there is a pent up demand regarding the iPhone 12 product cycle. Additionally, as per his supply-chain checks, Apple will not be bundling wired EarPods with the iPhone 12 lineup this year which is something we have heard before as well. Apple has been bundling Earpods with Lightning connector after ditching the headphone jack on the iPhone 7 lineup in September 2016. With AirPods and other wireless earbuds gaining popularity, consumers now prefer them over wired solutions.

“Our recent TMT Asia checks over the last week give us increased confidence in the timing and pent up demand around Apple’s much anticipated iPhone 12 product cycle heading into this Fall. While we were hearing of some delays over the past few months that would have pushed this key product cycle into the October/November timeframe, we now believe the iPhone 12 will be in late September with the smartphones ready to hit the shelves globally in early October,” said Daniel Ives for Wedbush.

The analyst also claims that all four iPhone 12 models will support 5G, though only the ones sold in the U.S. will feature mmWave connectivity.

The move to ditch the wired EarPods inside the packaging will not only help Apple reduce its BOM, but it will also help drive the sales of AirPods. There are rumors that Apple is planning on launching an AirPods promo later this year which could help boost sales. If the company offers customers an option to buy the AirPods at a discounted rate while purchasing the iPhone 12, it could have a winner on its hands. For its Back to School promotion in the US this year, Apple is bundling free AirPods with iPads and Macs and also offering customers an option to upgrade to the AirPods Pro by paying an additional $90. Due to these factors, the analyst believes Apple will ship 85 million AirPods units in 2020 compared to the 65 million units it sold in 2019.